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Discovery Tajikistan travel guide #2/2010


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ABC of Tajikistan

Badakhshan. The capital of this autonomous region in the heart of the Pamirs is Khorog with about 20’000 inhabitants.

The traditional way of life of the Pamiri peoples, has been preserved to the present day. The Pamiri homes are built around a large enclosed central room, with 5 pillars holding up the wooden ceiling.

In Dushanbe, you need to apply for a permit for Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO), in addition to your Tajikistan visa if you care to travel inside the territory of Gorno Badakhshan. In Khorog or Murghab you also need to register with the OVIR office.

Gemstones from Tajikistan, semi precious stones are ruby, sapphire, violet and purple spinel, red garnet (so called Lal) formed deep inside the earth and emerald, Pamir lazurit, lapis lazuli, amethyst, tourmaline, aquamarine, beryl and ornamental quartz, crystal, which were formed closer to the surface. Spinel.

National currency is the Somoni
1 Somoni = 100 Diram
1 USD = 3.50 Somoni
1 Euro = 3.75 Somoni

Home stays are organized by various NGO’s all around Badakhshan. You can stay in a Pamiri house, with locals in their summer yurt and they will be delighted to have you as a guest. A paying guest, please bear that in mind. You will get a hand quilted mattress and blanket and your own sleeping area in the guest room. The next morning you will be served a breadfast like you've never tasted, a hot bowl of sher chay, tea with goat's milk, salt and butter

The M41 starts at Kara-Balta in Kyrgyzstan (60 Km west of Bishkek), traveling south to Osh in the Ferhgana Valley. From Osh, the road ascends into the Alau Range of mountains to the crossroads at Sary-Tash. The M41 continues south, ascending to Kizyl-Art Pass (4,280 m), which forms the border with Tajikistan. The road then crosses the Pamir Plateau (Karakul Lake) and up to Ak-Baital Pass, at 4,655 m the highest stretch of road in the former USSR. The M41 continues through Murghab and Khorogto Dushanbe. A four wheel drive (4WD) vehicle is a must to travel on this road. Allow a minimum of four days to drive the 1,252 Km from Osh to Dushanbe; more if you plan to do any sightseeing along the way. In spring and early summer there is a risk of the road being blocked by mudslides and in winter the high passes are closed Ideal travel time: July to October.

Discovery Tajikistan #1

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